Everyone should know that driving at night or on icy pavement requires extra attention and care. Many drivers may not realize that different road surfaces freeze unevenly. Bridges, overpasses and ramps tend to freeze before other road surfaces, requiring additional caution while driving.
Low visibility and freezing driving conditions converged on the night of Feb. 2, when a devastating multi-vehicle crash on an ice-coated bridge claimed the lives of three Oklahoma residents. The incident involved one SUV and two tractor-trailer rigs.
The driver of the SUV, an adult passenger and a juvenile passenger died at the scene. Two other adults and three children were injured in the SUV accident, and one other child did not suffer any injuries.
With eight passengers in his SUV, the driver was traveling southbound on a highway bridge, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Two tractor-trailers were also headed southbound on the bridge, located at the Oklahoma-Texas border.
Police say the SUV driver lost control of the vehicle, which hit the bridge railing and careened against the railing on the other side of the road. The SUV veered in front of one tractor-trailer and was hit by the second. The OHP reported that both truck drivers are uninjured.
Because SUVs have a large passenger capacity and high center of gravity, drivers should be extra careful, especially on slippery roads. Likewise, drivers of large trucks have a legal obligation to exercise due caution when the weather conditions turn bad.
Clearly, these crashes can result in multiple serious injuries and devastating fatalities. In some cases, it may be necessary for a deceased victim’s family to bring a wrongful death claim in order to cover the costs resulting from the death of a loved one. An attorney with knowledge of wrongful death claims may be helpful in the wake of such a devastating crash.
Source: Joplin Globe, "Three from Miami killed, five hurt in crash on icy bridge," Feb. 4, 2014